It’s a thinner week as the conference passes the midpoint of the regular season. There are games on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday.
As for byes, four teams are off during the mid-week — Cincinnati, UCF, TCU and West Virginia.
Here’s the complete schedule, how to watch each game and, if you’re so inclined, the three must-watch games of the week in league where frankly every game is a must-watch.
Kansas at Kansas State
How To Watch: 8 p.m., Monday, ESPN
I mean, naturally, this is always a game to watch. Last year it was about Kansas State proving it was on the ascension. Now, these two teams are moving in entirely different directions.
Kansas just beat Houston at home to draw into a tie for first place in the Big 12. Freshman Johnny Furphy is emerging as a sensation and the missing piece to the Kansas starting lineup. Depth is still an issue for coach Bill Self, but he has more than a month to figure that out.
Everything is going wrong for coach Jerome Tang and the Wildcats. They’ve lost four straight. They’re coming off a loss to Oklahoma State. In their game against Oklahoma last week they failed to score for more than eight minutes to start the game. K-State is in trouble.
But, this is a rivalry game. And you throw out the records. Expect a close game. Would you want it any other way?
Iowa State at Texas
How to Watch: 7 p.m. Tuesday, LHN
This game gets highlighted for a couple of reasons. First, it’s the last time Cyclone fans will have to deal with the Longhorn Network. The fan base is basically shut out from watching this game, which is wrong. But it always seems to end up on LHN.
Second, this game is critical for both teams. ISU is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Baylor and is one loss out of first place. Texas is coming off a big win over TCU and is trying to get out of this 1-1 weekly rut the Longhorns have gotten themselves into.
UCF at Texas Tech
How to Watch: 3 p.m., Saturday, Big 12 Now on ESPN+
Yes, Baylor is at Kansas on Saturday and that’s a game most will naturally watch. But this game is intriguing. Why?
Texas Tech just found out how much winning at home is necessary after falling to Cincinnati last Saturday. It was a winnable game for the Red Raiders, but the margins are so small in this league that you have to hang on.
UCF has beaten two ranked teams at home. The Knights have gone into Texas and stolen a road game. They’re on the outside looking in when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. But there is enough runway for the Knights to make it interesting for the committee. A win over what is likely to be a ranked team would help. Plus, UCF has seven days to prepare. Texas Tech has to deal with Baylor on the road on Tuesday.
Every little margin helps.
Big 12 Men’s Basketball Schedule for Week 14
(all times central)
Kansas at Kansas State, 8 p.m., ESPN
Oklahoma State at Houston, 6 p.m., ESPN2
Iowa State at Texas, 7 p.m., LHN
BYU at Oklahoma, 7 p.m., ESPN+
Texas Tech at Baylor, 8 p.m., ESPN
TCU at Iowa State, 1 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2
West Virginia at Texas, 2 p.m., LHN
Houston at Cincinnati, 3 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2
UCF at Texas Tech, 3 p.m., Big 12 Now on ESPN+
Baylor at Kansas, 5 p.m., ESPN
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, 6 p.m, ESPN+
Kansas State at BYU, 9 p.m., ESPN2/ESPNU
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.